It’s that time of year again. I really wasn’t expecting it – it snuck up on me. Scrolling through my Facebook feed I start seeing pictures of young girls with their Dads as they head off to Daddy/Daughter dances. My heart breaks for yours. Even before Dad was sick, I know you were grieving the loss of these precious memories. You knew you wouldn’t be able to go to a Daddy/Daughter dance again, at least not with your Daddy. I know these are some of your best memories and as a result, they are the memories that break your heart the most.
Oh, Lolo, I know how much you long for your Dad. You two were so similar and shared an extra special bond. You not only looked alike, but you shared the same quirky sense of humor and analytical mind. I know Daddy was your hero.
I’m thankful for the few dances you were able to attend together before he became sick. Even though it wasn’t enough and you feel short-changed, I want you to remember how much Dad taught you in the ten years he had with you. He instilled a lot of important lessons in a short amount of time. I hope you will always remember these things. Remember how Dad loved dressing up in a suit coat, how he brought you flowers and rang the doorbell to pick up his special “date?” He wanted to make sure you knew how a boy and later men should treat you. He wanted to model the respect, the love, the behaviors you should come to demand in a young man as you grow older. He wanted you to know how special you are and that you should never tolerate less from a boy. Ever.
I’m sure his dance moves were horrifying, but you didn’t care, did you? I know you loved your Daddy, especially when he was a goofy embarrassment, which was often. We have the Crocs with black socks pictures to prove it. Boy, did he love you!
Lolo, I want you to know you were your Daddy’s greatest joy. He couldn’t have loved you more. I know each year when you hear about other girls going to dances with their Dads, it will break your heart. I’m so sorry about that. I’d give anything to make that feeling disappear. I’d love to protect you from the heartache you might feel in a few years when you see girls taking prom pictures with their Dads. I wish I could soften the pain you might feel when you walk down the aisle without him to marry the love of your life. I know it was a moment Dad looked forward to, and a moment that he fought so hard for. He didn’t want to miss these things, Lolo. He fought so hard to not miss these things. I want you to know that his love for Jesus and also how being your Dad was what gave him the courage to get through each day.
When the loss you feel is more than you can bear, I will be here to remind you of how much your Dad loved you. The life lessons and immeasurable love he left for you are treasures to carry in your heart forever. I will be here to hold you when life without him is too hard. I will help you remember him. I will tell you how proud he would’ve been when you are kind, when you make the Honor Roll, when you’re brave. I can’t replace him, no one can – but I can love you through it all. And I will try to encourage you in all the ways I know Daddy would have wanted to do.
I love you, Lolo. And so did Daddy.